Xiaomi's SU7 bedazzles at India showcasing, may take some time to hit the road

Garima Singh Garima Singh | 07-10 00:20

"The SU7 was brought to India solely for showcase purposes. It is not for sale in the Indian market," a Xiaomi official said at the event. The SU7, a sports sedan, is Xiaomi's first electric car.
Chinese technology company Xiaomi on Tuesday showcased its electric vehicle SU7 even as it remained tight-lipped about launching it in India. Alongside, a host of other electronic products including the Star-Redmi 13 5G were launched.

The company also launched Redmi Buds 5C, the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum Cleaner X10, the Xiaomi Pocket Power Bank 10000mAh, and the Xiaomi Power Bank 4i 10000mAh.

Xiaomi's Chinese peers like BYD and MG Motors have already ventured into India as they look to tap into the nascent electric vehicle market. The SU7 may rival BYD's Seal, Hyundai's Ioniq 5, and Kia's EV6.

Xiaomi's EV display move comes at a time when US electric carmaker Tesla Inc is still to make any firm commitment on its India entry.

"The SU7 was brought to India solely for showcase purposes. It is not for sale in the Indian market," a Xiaomi official said at the event. The SU7, a sports sedan, is Xiaomi's first electric car.

Xiaomi's EV ambitions

The car created a buzz at the international level and witnessed a flying start in China. The model SU7 is a pet project of Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun and carries a price under USD 30,000 (around INR 25 lakh) for the base model, which is nearly USD 4,000 (INR 3.3 lakh) cheaper than the base model of Tesla's Model 3 in China.

The SU7 closely resembles the Porsche Taycan electric car but costs less than one-fifth of the Taycan's price, which ranges from USD 140,000 to USD 275,000 in China.

The Xiaomi SU7 is 4,997mm long, 1,963 mm wide, and 1,455 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3,000 mm. As an electric vehicle, it features a 105-liter front trunk ("Frunk") and a 517-liter traditional boot storage. The SU7 comes in two versions - one with a driving range of up to 668 km with a single charge and another with a range of up to 800 km.

The top-tier Xiaomi SU7 Max Performance variant includes a 101 kWh battery with an estimated range of 800 km (CLTC). This model boasts a dual-motor system producing 663 bhp and 838 Nm, with a top speed of 265 km/h. The most eye-catching part, it can accelerate from 0 to 200km/h in just 10.67 seconds.

Xiaomi SU7 Max lets you get back on the road with an incredible 510 kilometres of range after just 15 minutes of charging. Even the standard Xiaomi SU7 offers a 350-kilometer range boost in the same timeframe.

Not an easy road

Earlier, ET reported that India may make changes to its new EV policy in order to incentivise automakers that have already made investments in the country. The policy, which aims to accelerate the local manufacturing of high-end electric cars, currently supports only fresh investments.

The government is contemplating including investments in facilities that manufacture both internal combustion engines and electric vehicles in its incentive program. This move aims to enhance scalability and ensure significant investments are feasible for automakers

Several car manufacturers, including Volkswagen-Skoda, Hyundai-Kia, and VinFast, have shown interest in the new policy, known as the Scheme for Manufacturing of Electric Cars (SMEC).

Under the SMEC, the government will permit imports of fully assembled electric vehicles (EVs) with a minimum cost, insurance, and freight value of USD 35,000 at a 15% import duty rate for up to five years, provided that companies invest a minimum of USD 500 million in establishing new manufacturing facilities.

Currently, Xiaomi’s biggest consumer product business in India is focused on smartphones. However, the company has launched many new products that will be sold in different categories.

Consumer electronics still a focus

The company has also launched 5G Star-Redmi 13 5G, the Redmi Buds 5C, the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum Cleaner X10, the Xiaomi Pocket Power Bank 10000mAh, and the Xiaomi Power Bank 4i 10000mAh.

Xiaomi said that it's aiming to ship 70 crore devices across devices over the next decade, having achieved 25 crore sales over its 10-year presence in the India market.

Beyond smartphones

Xiaomi left a significant mark as it quickly gained a foothold in India's smartphone market after entering the scene in 2014. Within just three years after India entry, it captured a 24% market share, surpassing the long-time leader, Samsung. At one point, half of all smartphones sold online in India were Xiaomi products, according to a report by Ken.

According to an IDC report, three major smartphone brands—Vivo, Xiaomi, and Samsung—dominated the Indian market by focusing on mass-budget smartphones. These three companies collectively held a 53% share in this segment. Conversely, shipments of entry-level smartphones saw a decline. Xiaomi was particularly successful in the under USD 100 category, followed by Poco and Itel.

The company also packaged itself in 'Make in India' wraps after the escalation of the India-China border row.

Beijing has regularly raised objections to India's increased scrutiny of Chinese businesses since 2020. This year, Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi communicated to India's government that "confidence building" measures were necessary. The company noted that component suppliers were hesitant to set up operations in India due to compliance and visa issues.

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